Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

A safety tip for covering first base

Today’s video tip is for pitchers to help them be safer when they have to cover first base.  Defense starts with good footwork and therefore, making this play effectively and safely begins with the feet being at the right place... 

Read more of this article

Teaching players to see the game for themselves

A good defensive team does a lot of communicating.  They communicate with teammates before the ball is hit and when the play is ongoing.  They communicate between innings, before and after games, and during practice.  All... 

Read more of this article

Five common pitching mistakes & how to correct them

One of my favorite things to do is to speak at coaches clinics.  Below is a video of my latest coaching clinic presentation that I gave a couple weeks ago for some little league level coaches outside of Philadelphia.  I hope... 

Read more of this article

Balancing development with winning

One of the many challenges that youth level coaches face involves the balance between developing your players and winning games.  Many times the two go hand in hand.  The programs that develop better players tend to win more... 

Read more of this article

Base runners – Know the pitch and watch the flight

The best base runners on a team are often NOT the fastest.  That’s because base running involves so much more than speed.  It’s about taking good angles and turns around the bases.  It’s knowing when to take... 

Read more of this article

10 ways to improve your bullpen sessions

1. Have a game mindset.  A pitcher is going to have to do a lot of thinking during games so it’s in their interest to practice that same thinking during their bullpen session.  Run game-like scenarios in your head and... 

Read more of this article

Mastering the Stand-In Drill

The Stand-In Drill is one of the best hitting drills batters can do during the off-season to get ready for game #1. Of course, that’s if they do it right. In today’s video tip, Coach McCreary explains what the Stand-In... 

Read more of this article

Add another throw to every drill

Add another throw to every drill! I’m not sure if this is based in fact but it has always been my contention that more errors are made by bad throws as opposed to not catching the ball.  On top of that, we also see a lot of... 

Read more of this article

When to throw two and four seam fastballs

Today’s video tip is for pitchers and explains what the basic rules are for when to throw a two seam fastball as opposed to a four seam fastball. There are always exceptions to the rule (especially as kids get older) but today’s... 

Read more of this article

Do the simple things better

I recently was listening to a guy on a podcast who previously was an elite special forces type guy in the Marine Corp.  He gave a story about how his elite unit came across a unit of “grunts” out in the field who... 

Read more of this article

Are you doing sprints to the left?

I bet when you or your players practice sprints you only practice them one way.  I know I did. Today’s video tip explains why that isn’t always good and how to easily fix it.   The season is right around the corner!... 

Read more of this article

Is there a wrong way to make a player better?

Let’s say a batter is only hitting weak ground balls and comes to you for lessons with the two goals of 1) hitting with more authority and, 2) driving the ball more.  Let’s also say that you tell the kid to do A, B, and C.... 

Read more of this article

Positive shin angle for base runners

Today’s video tip is for base runners and even fielders who need to develop a better, more explosive first step quickness in order to steal bases or track down a ball. The tip involves a concept known as “positive shin angle.”... 

Read more of this article

To run faster, you have to run faster

“To run faster, you have to run faster.” Duh. On the surface, the title of this post may look pretty stupid.  However, most baseball players don’t do much running so it ends up not being so stupid after all. Like... 

Read more of this article

Exaggeration Drills for hitters

Happy New Year everyone! Today’s video tip involves exaggerating some of the basic mechanics of hitting. Exaggerating these movements improves the feel of the proper mechanic and also helps a hitter’s confidence while... 

Read more of this article

FREE eBook and other info to end 2017!

Just a heads up that this post will be the last one of 2017.  It’s been another busy baseball year at Baseball By The Yard!  I hope that all of you are still benefiting from the written posts and the videos tips! Here... 

Read more of this article

Footwork & timing for advanced infielders

Today’s video tip is an advanced one for infielders.  It involves better timing of the footwork on ground balls. I start by showing how the human body functions when walking forward and backward and then apply that to fielding.... 

Read more of this article

Happy Holidays!

Yes, we’ve reached that time of year again! Thank you so much for being a follower of Baseball By The Yard!  The site is approaching it’s 7th anniversary and I appreciate all your support! I hope you and your families... 

Read more of this article

The good news about fear

Fear is one of the basic features of our hard-wiring that has allowed human beings to last as long as we have.  Fear and all the physiological responses to it – increased heart rate, quick shallow breathing, the adrenaline... 

Read more of this article

The Fence Drill for hitters

Today’s video tip is a popular drill called the Fence Drill.  As I explain in the video, there are multiple ways to do a Fence Drill.  The video shows how I conduct the drill most of the time. Note: Although I do not mention... 

Read more of this article

Just don’t be timid

Don’t be the deer in headlights! Is there anything more painful to watch than a talented player who is timid on the field or in the batter’s box?  It’s frustrating because usually the timidness does not let... 

Read more of this article

Command of your fastball is priority #1

Home plate is 17 inches wide.  Baseballs are about 3 inches in diameter which means the strike zone is going to be about 6 baseballs wide.  In reality, it often is 7 baseballs.  At the younger levels one can argue that it... 

Read more of this article

What personality shows when you play?

Derek Jeter, Cal Ripken, Pete Rose, Tug McGraw, Roger Clemens, Craig Biggio, and Bob Gibson. Josh Donaldson, Justin Turner, Jose Altuve, Bryce Harper, Yasiel Puig, Dustin Pedroia, and Yadier Molina. The list of older player in... 

Read more of this article

Teaching launch angle is a waste of time

If you work with baseball players below the AA or AAA level (and 99% of baseball coaches do) then there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to use the term “launch angle” in your instruction. Three stories … I... 

Read more of this article

Like riding a bike

Keep looking down and you won’t go very far Remember when you were little and you were trying to learn how to ride a bike without training wheels?  If you were like most kids, you probably were so concerned with what your... 

Read more of this article

The Training Lace

Hi everyone! I don’t often promote products but the Training Lace from LaceUp is generating a lot of interest inside and outside the sporting world.  It also has a lot of versatility on the baseball side of things.  I... 

Read more of this article

Speak to the track coach yet?

Who would like to improve their overall running speed?   Answer = everyone. Who would like to get better jumps on steals?  Answer = everyone. Who wants to improve their first and second step quickness to improve their range?... 

Read more of this article

Let me see your calendar

You say you are a serious ball player with aspirations to play in college or the pro level?  Yeah? Prove it.  Let me see your calendar. Playing college or pro baseball is not something you can just wake up and decide to do when... 

Read more of this article

Embarrass yourself before someone else does

Ever get called out by a coach or a teammate?  Play long enough and every player will have that happen to them at least once.  It could be a teammate who jumps you for not running hard down the line.  It could be a coach jumping... 

Read more of this article

Don’t eat the cheese

During the fall, many players and teams use their time (and better weather!) to identify areas where they struggled during the spring and summer and work  to improve upon them.  This is especially true for those who had poor... 

Read more of this article

Do pitchers lead with the hip or the foot?

There are many debates in baseball that still rage on today.  One of them involves whether it is better for a pitcher to lead with his front foot or whether he should lead with his hip when he starts his movement towards home... 

Read more of this article

Confidently unorthodox

“When you catch the ball, use two hands.”   “On grounders, square up and get in front of the ball.” “Don’t show-off and flip the ball with your glove.  Take it out with your hand and throw... 

Read more of this article

The way you do anything is the way you’ll do everything

“The way you do anything is the way you’ll do everything.“ I heard this quote the other day and I think there is a lot of truth in it when it comes to life and baseball. Human beings are creatures of habit. ... 

Read more of this article

The Bunting Tee Drill

The batting tee is probably the most versatile tool for baseball players.  It can be used for drill work in almost every area of the game.  Today’s video tip shows how you can use a tee to practice two specific types of... 

Read more of this article

Stealing on first-move (Part 3)

There’s a lot going on with this simple steal attempt of second base This is the final post in a three part series on stealing first-move on a left-handed pitcher.  In Part 1, I explained what stealing first-move is and... 

Read more of this article

Stealing on first-move (Part 2)

Sometimes you steal on the pitcher. Other times it’s on the first baseman. In Part 1 of this series I discussed what stealing first-move means and why it can be a very good option when a left-hander is on the mound.  In... 

Read more of this article

Stealing on first-move (Part 1)

“He’s going!!! This is Part 1 of a three part series on stealing second base using the “first-move” method.  Today I’ll focus on what stealing “first-move” means and why a coach/runner... 

Read more of this article

The Jam Drill

When a batter smokes a line drive right at someone, you may hear a coach say “Don’t worry.  They’ll even out.”  What he means is that someday the hitter will get a bloop hit and the two will even out. Never... 

Read more of this article

A better leg kick for pitchers

Young baseball players who are just starting to pitch typically need to focus on being very efficient and under control to help them throw more strikes.  However, as kids get older and the distances of their pitch increases,... 

Read more of this article

How to jump over runners on double plays

Over the past several years, Major League Baseball has instituted some rule changes about sliding in order to better protect middle infielders on double plays.  However, as I state in today’s video, middle infielders no... 

Read more of this article

Two tips for catching low strikes

One big job for catchers is to help their pitchers get more strikes called on close pitches.  How they receive/catch the ball can play a large role in that.  In today’s video, Coach McCreary shows catchers two ways they... 

Read more of this article

What sport are you playing in the fall?

You can have the year-round baseball player. I’ll take the defensive back! Over the past couple decades, specializing in one sport (especially baseball) and playing it year-round has become a popular trend.  It’s... 

Read more of this article

The mini wind-up for pitchers

Learning how to pitch can be a difficult thing for young pitchers.  Bad balance, not staying on their line, and simply bad body control add contribute to young pitchers not being to consistently throw strikes.  Usually less... 

Read more of this article

Touch the front of first base!

Here is a painful reminder why a runner always needs to touch the FRONT part of the bag at first base.  No exceptions!  I’m hoping Harper’s knee injury is not serious. Touching the front gets you to first base more... 

Read more of this article

Tip for catchers to help their coach on close pitches

“COME ON, UMP!  WHERE’S THAT PITCH?  LET’S GO!”” Sit close to a field and you will hear a lot of variations of the phrase above.  Quite often, what follows will be the umpire calling time-out,... 

Read more of this article

Tips on diving back to first base

The photo to the right shows a runner properly diving back to first base on either a pick-off by the pitcher or an after-the-pitch pickoff attempt by the catcher.  Either way, the process of diving back to the bag is the same.... 

Read more of this article

The underrated push bunt

In my opinion, one of the most underrated plays in baseball is the push bunt from right handed hitters.  Someday I’ll make a video demonstrating how to do it properly but today we’ll just get into the benefits and... 

Read more of this article

You only “pitch” when you are in the stretch

How many times have you seen a pitcher warm-up before a game or throw a bullpen between starts and never (or almost never) throw any pitches from the stretch?  I lost count. Think about it … when you are pitching in a game... 

Read more of this article

Improve the last warm-up pitch before the inning

We’ve all seen it a thousand times … the catcher yells “Comin’ down!” before the last warm-up pitch by the pitcher.  At the higher levels, the catcher just puts his throwing arm out to the side and... 

Read more of this article

Three ways to quicken your transitions from catching to throwing

The photo on the right is my son about to throw a ball to a teammate in this year’s SE Pennsylvania 10u Ripken State Tournament Skills Night.  The event they are participating in was the Around-the-horn competition.  The... 

Read more of this article

Read More Posts in